Title: Oh How

Summary: Takako always felt like she owed it to their friendship.

Rating: T (for the endless cussing and cursing)

Genre: General

She had no idea, whatsoever, if Hiroki liked chocolate almond cookies. But she brought him some anyway. After all, it was just last month when she started—she gagged at the thought—playing around with the idea of baking, and had been making progress since then.

Either way, she knew Hiroki loved all kinds of food, so she brought him some of the chocolate almonds cookies she just baked. She had no idea, whatsoever, if Hiroki liked chocolate almond cookies; but she had an idea who did.

"There you are!"

Takako pushed her last train of thought aside, and hugged Hiroki, who was once a little boy who cried over his cats. High school had been good to him, she thought, and he looked beyond amazing.

"I see that my girl still looks amazing," said Hiroki with an adorable smile on his face, to which she only snorted to, seeing that she thought the same about him only a few seconds ago. Ahh, the repercussions of decade-worth years of friendship; she had to smile.

"You don't look so bad yourself—"

"Are these cookies?"

Takako only rolled her eyes at him.

"Oh yes, of course," she told him having no intentions of hiding her smugness.

Hiroki tapped his nose—still, he never got over this habit—and feigned curiosity. "Is this even edible?"

Takako only smiled at him rather dangerously, and he made a beeline for the hills, telling her that he'd get some plates and drinks and that the porch would be good place to hang out.

Yes, this porch would be good, she thought with a smile.

She was looking at Hiroki, adoration plastered on her face, not even making an effort to try and hide it. He was talking animatedly about a particular designer ring he saw—Takako pretended she wasn't excited about it, but he just rambled by—and while she was looking at him as he talked; she realized she loved looking at him.

Oh how the years had gone by. Oh how she loved this man. Oh was he, her first love.

"Just so you know, Taka, before I melt right into a puddle of goo with all that staring that you do, almonds are great, but I liked cashews more."

That woke her up from her reverie. "Sorry?"

"…unless this wasn't for me."

Takako took a bite from her own pile and shrugged, "I baked them for everyone who wanted to eat—"

"—you mean die?"

She playfully smacked him on his left arm, and she was surprised at the feel of his muscles against her palm. "Come on, was it really that bad?"

Hiroki knew she wasn't pissed but he made an effort to look at her, solemnly and sincerely. Takako only raised an eyebrow at him, and he placed his unfinished cookie on his plate. He stared right into her eyes. He usually did this when he felt very appreciative of things, and right it was—

"It was good enough for me."

And so sooner than later, she found herself coming closer and closer to him until she felt her own breath hitch at their proximity. His smile, his ever adoring smile, oh she loved it—it was still there when she came closer, and the last thing she remembered was his questioning eyes before she closed her own.

She kissed Hiroki Sugimura for the first time.

His lips felt soft against hers and at first she could feel the hesitation from the boy she ever loved. For some unknown reason to her, she felt herself going bold and she ended up kissing him with more gentle force—if that was possible—until Hiroki's lips parted and he was responding back. His hands went to her arms in a gentle manner that she felt she would crush against him, and that it was never a bad thing to be.

It was nice. The pulsing on her veins, the beating of her heart, the warmth of their bodies and their closeness, it was nice.

She didn't want the moment to end, she had always been dreaming about this—his hands were on her arms but she couldn't care less on the awkwardness of their positions—her own hands was on his face, pressing to never let him go. She didn't want to let him go. She didn't want the moment to end, but the need for air was there, and she had to wake up from the dream.

Takako felt herself gave a small smile when Hiroki only shook his head when they parted—yes she did, she had to wake up from that dream because everything in her real life was better.

Oh no, not because it wasn't nice; oh yes, it was.

The normal pulsing on her veins, the steady beating of her heart, the cold warmth of their bodies and their closeness, it was nice.

And it was all that ever was.

"What did you do that for?"

Takako turned to look at Hiroki and she felt a little sadness at the smiles they were both giving each other—it was sincere and it hurt and it hurt both of them, even just a tiny little speck that—

"I always felt like we owed it to our friendship."

Hiroki merely smiled at her, and looked straight at the setting sun, orange and yellow hues on the sky, with faint tinges of pink—he remarked how beautiful it was, as much as beautiful as the same girl sitting beside him who kissed him because she, they, owed it to their friendship.

"You mean why we never got together."

"I meant why we never tried."

Hiroki only looked at her again, and this time, a laugh was attempting to come out of his flushed features. The sound of it was not mocking, nor was it sarcastic; Takako knew he was merely laughing at something, as if it was some sort of joke that needed laughing, and cracking up for that matter, and it was so very funny—that Takako laughed along with him and their laughter came to full blast—

--and it hurt.

"I was in love with someone else."

Oh it wasn't that hurting that one would mope, or get depressed about—it was that hurt that two friends knew something so much to be true, and even if there was something that could be done to change it, both of them would never ever change it anyway.

Kayoko Kotohiki, the girl who stole his heart; and Takako had to roll her eyes.

She only looked back at Hiroki who was still staring at her with a smile on his face and deep down inside her, she preserved whatever remained of her love for him—he was still her first love because he was the one who made her fall in love with the idea of love—even if it wasn't anything but a mere idea, a mere thought.

The one who made her feel love was standing right through the gates and saluting at them, walking their way towards them to the porch, that Takako had to roll her eyes at him as she stood up.

She hugged his friend tight.

"Thank you," she whispered, "and next time, I'll bake cashew cookies."

Hiroki had to smile at that and he affectionately patted her head, "I'm looking forward to it—hey Mim, want some?"

Before Shinji even got closer, Takako went towards him, waving goodbye to her old, good-natured best friend. Shinji merely shrugged back at Hiroki and he and Takako went towards the gate, their backs at the martial artist.

"Hey Taka!"

Takako looked at her best friend and had one of her eyebrows raised.

"You are too."

Takako only smiled back at Hiroki, and walked away, locking her fingers with the hand that held her—that hand of the boy who would later eat her chocolate almond cookies and tell her it was his favorite... and she should bake them more.

Oh how the years had gone by. Oh how she loves this man. Oh how he is, her real love.


A/N: I am, right now, a laughing lunatic. Don't ask me why. The idea popped in my mind and I screamed BLOODY PERFECT all over the place. No Hirokis were hurt in this production, just a disclaimer.

And I love you, imjuzakyd. It's for you. FOR YOU.

Pardon for all the grammar issues, OOC-ness and whatsoever that keep your crunches at knots, or nuts, or whatever.